In addition to honoring war heroes, Memorial Day traditionally serves as the kickoff to summer fun.

In the latter respect, this year's holiday weekend will be one to remember in Grandview Heights.

"It's going to be something special, the likes of which we've never seen," Parks and Recreation Director Sean Robey said.

Along with the traditional Blue Star Mothers service and parade, the weekend will bring the long-awaited opening of Grandview's new municipal pool.

"I think people are going to be astounded when they see our new pool facility," Robey said.

The city will host a dedication ceremony and open house from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 26 at the pool, 1350 Goodale Blvd.

"This will be a nonswimming event. Don't bring your bathing suit," Robey said. "We'll have a ribbon-cutting, some remarks from dignitaries, refreshments and a chance for people to tour the facility.

"We decided to hold our dedication ceremony on Friday night, because we know that people are going to be really eager to get into the pool the next day," he said.

The pool officially will open for swimming at 3 p.m. May 27.

"We'll be holding what we call the Big Splash right at 3 p.m.," Robey said. "We'll invite everyone to step into or jump into the pool at that time. Our construction manager, Corna-Kokosing, will be arranging to have a drone flying overhead to take a picture of the Big Splash."

The pool facility will open a little earlier than 3 p.m. to allow visitors to get settled in before the big moment, he said.

The time when the doors will open is still to be determined, Robey said.

The remaining finishing touches on the pool facility are expected to be completed this week, he said.

"We've pretty much stayed on schedule," Robey said.

Closing the pool a few weeks early last summer helped in that mission, as did the mild winter, he said.

"I've joked that we've had more delays caused by lightning this winter than by snow," Robey said. "That's probably not too far from the truth."

Memorial Day events

The city's Memorial Day observance will begin with the annual Blue Star Mothers service at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25, at Memorial Park.

The event will include the reading of the roll of honor and participation by members of Boy Scout Troop 73, who will place poppies on the wall of honor as the names of Grandview or Marble Cliff residents who gave their lives in service to their country are read.

Mayor Ray DeGraw will tell the stories of a few of those people; the event also will include a gun volley and bagpipe player Jeff Lynn.

"I say it every year, but the memorial service is my favorite event of the year," Robey said. "It's a great time to reflect on the real meaning of Memorial Day."

This year, Grandview resident Graham Webb will bring his annual flag project to Memorial Park.

For the past six years, Webb, who served in the U.S. Army, has placed flags on Wyandotte Road, where he lives, and other nearby streets over Memorial Day weekend.

The past two years, he also placed flags at First Community Church, but the project to build a new welcome center at the church makes it impractical this year.

"On the flagpole, I put what I call tags, (each of) which has a name of a fallen hero and tells a little bit about their life story," Webb said. "Sometimes when you go to a memorial and see a list of names, it doesn't tell you (anything) about those people.

"Each of those names has a story behind it," he said. "For people to recognize the sacrifice these heroes made, they need more than just a name."

His research includes looking up newspaper articles and military records to find out more about the fallen heroes he honors, Webb said.

"I try to put the spotlight on something different each year, whether it's all of the Ohioans who died in the Vietnam War or all of the Ohioans who have fallen in the war on terror," he said.

This year, the flags Webb places at Memorial Park will honor local residents who were killed in military service. But along his block of Wyandotte Road, Webb plans to honor "the hidden casualties -- the people who have committed suicide or who didn't die in combat but in the line of duty," he said.

Grandview's annual parade will step off at 10 a.m. May 27. The parade travels down First Avenue from Cambridge Boulevard to Pierce Field.

All veterans in the community are invited to participate in the parade as grand marshals, Robey said.

Following the parade, the Grandview Baseball and Softball Association will kick off its season at the park.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman